The Marvel movie franchise that started years ago back in the early 2000’s has made such a smash at the box office that it has now made its way into homes across America in the form of television. Fans have been waiting months to finally get to watch the first episode of SHIELD and now that it aired last night Major Spoilers is here to give a review.


Clark Gregg
Intigration with the films
The Cheese
Adjusting to TV

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆



Previously on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: A group of super powered individuals came together to save an alien invasion in New York City. This is not the story of those individuals, but the shadowy organization that backed them throughout their mission.


This first episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. serves as a variation of “getting the team together.” We are introduced to Agent Grant Ward who is the thrill seeking agent, Melinda May as the reluctant former agent pulled back in, Phil Coulson as the not dead agent from Avengers, the smart gadget duo of Fitz and Simmons, and eventually Skye. Besides being involved with S.H.I.E.L.D. all of the characters share one common characteristic: they are all good looking individuals. Coming from the movies this is no real surprise as every character in those are equally attractive, but even the “villain” of this episode was above mildly attractive.

Even though this pilot episode goes through the process of putting the team together it worked well for two different reasons. First off, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. draws influence from the Marvel comics, so what would happen in the first issue in a team-up book after the threat has been presented? Putting the team together. Second this concept worked well here because S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t copy and past the formula from other works but is able to throw in elements around the troupe that kept the plot interesting. Pulling in the continuity of this year’s Iron Man 3 as the basis for why the team needs to be together was a fantastic idea since it was the most recently released Marvel film so it is fresh in the minds of audiences and gives S.H.I.E.L.D. the larger connection to the films that fans want.

Not every element of the premiere episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was perfectly executed though. In the beginning we are presented with a shocking revelation that there may just be more superheroes than those “Heroes of New York.” It would turn out that the human we are shown is in fact not a superhero but simply an experiment for a “Project Centipede.” Realizing this was disappointing because if the man would have turned out to be a superhuman, we could have seen our first non-white hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


In the world of media franchises Marvel has certainly gone a route that most would not. Instead of creating the television show that goes for five seasons and then gets a movie, they went the route of creating seven large scale movies and then venturing into TV. With that step from the silver screen to the small screen there are going to be aspects of creation that will be impossible to replicate.

One of the most notable shifts is that S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t look like a movie due to the frame rate difference between the two mediums. A small increase of six frames a second may not sound like much on paper, but it does equate to a lot visually. And, the visuals are the second big change from the films. S.H.I.E.L.D. does not have the budget of Avengers and because of this the special effects do not look as polished. This is nothing against the visual effects in the show at all, but they aren’t 120 million dollar movie quality, which is all that we have seen of this world previously and may turn away viewers that expect the same quality as what they have seen at their local cinema.


All in all, the pilot episode for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. surpassed my original expectations for the show. While moments of the show smelt of the stinkiest cheese in the writing and acting, the ties to the larger continuity, the subtle twists in the plot, and Clark Gregg being Clark Gregg ultimately made the episode an enjoyable experience. Marvel certainly has the potential to set up future plot lines for movies inside this show which may just make the show worth watching so you proudly proclaim your depth knowledge of events while leaving the theater after the next Avengers movie. If you are a fan of what Marvel has done with the movies, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is certainly worth your time for a quick viewing.

Rating: ★★★½☆


About Author

Zach is a recent college graduate who’s love for consuming media is surpassed only by his love for creating it. He has a firm belief that if we could all just play with LEGOs for 30 minutes a day the world would be a better place. If those two statements don’t tell you everything you need to know about Zach, follow him on Twitter at @zwoolf.


  1. Thanks for the review! I enjoyed the show thoroughly, but went into it expecting less than we got from the movies. As you said, the budget and visual effects weren’t there, (but that was expected!) and the cheesiness is a bit over the top . . . but it was still a really cool first episode. Good story, fun characters, and of course, Agent Coulson. I can’t wait to see where they go with the plot – hopefully they have some over-arching, season-long thread that carries the show, rather than a separate plot each episode. And it will be nice to see if they can interweave the show’s plots with the upcoming movies.

  2. I really liked the show but now that I step back I agree on some of the cheese, but cheese works if it doesn’t take you out of the moment so I thought it was ok.

    I agree being disappointed that we seem to have lost our most obvious shot at the non-white hero, but perhaps May will turn out to be something down the line here, and there is still plenty of show left to find some other heroes.

  3. I’m unsure.
    I was enthralled and wanted to see more, but in the back of my mind something bugged me about the pacing,

    Anyway I was sad when it ended and want to see more.

  4. “first non-white hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe”

    Um, Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes – War Machine

    Also, 2008 is exactly the “early” 2000s.

  5. One of the things that stood out to me as a long time fan of Joss Whedon and what he does, it was hard not to see the “Villain of the Week” start off in the first episode. I like the scene of humor and the way that the writing seems to have been done by someone one that actually knows what the Marvel Universe is.

    All in all I liked the show and look forward to great Wheadon dialog and some quirky and strange action in the up and coming episodes. I can’t wait to see the traditional Wheadon season finally.

  6. Did anyone else feel like Skye was cast because Eliza Dushku is in her 30s? It makes me wonder why they didn’t get Eliza, who has worked with Whedon before and isn’t a strange to the superhero genre.

  7. If this turns out to be a Hero/Monster of the week show I’ll be disappointed and likely lose interest. Fringe started out that way but in season 2 made a change for the better moving away from this method. I enjoyed the humor and bits of action. Watched it on Hulu and there are soooo many commercials now.

  8. The only thing in the episode I got excited about was that we finally got a flying car. It is the only reason I will come back for the next episode. Other than the car I thought It was pretty boring and I dont really care about any of the characters beyond Coulson.

    On a side note; it seemed to me from the little hints here and there that Coulson is dead and that the Coulson on the show is an LMD or something.

    • Oh and 1 more thing. It is the pilot and for people like me who werent feeling it there is the chance it will get better, possibly much better. Anyone remember Encounter at Farpoint? uug! So i guess i will give it a few more episodes just to see how it evolves.

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